Best Practices for importing and cutting multiples of same 3D STL

I would like to understand users sequence of operation when wanting to carve multiples of a 3D STL import? Ya’ll cutting rough and finish one at a time?

I would love to run the rough cut on lets say 5 items then do the same process with my finishing pass. Thoughts?

If you can place the workpiece in exactly the same place each time you load it and have a fixed place to set your Z axis when you change bits, you should have no problem.
There are several ways to register your work piece, the easiest is to locate a corner by using a 90 degree fence.
If the item is irregular you can clamp or glue stops onto the spoilboard that will let you install each piece against a number of fixed points or surfaces.
If your workpiece is circular, good luck, you will have to figure out a way to keep the rotation constant for each piece for the detail carve.

The best practice is to rough and the finish one at a time…

IF you wanted to do multiples, you could use a different software like Blender or Meshlab to create an array of the model and combine into one STL file, this would allow you to run one job to rough and then one job to finish multiple pieces laid out on the wasteboard at once. HOWEVER I highly doubt Easel has the ability to compute this if the model or the toolpath is too complex… AND if one was to fail it would mess up all of the rest… so It’s probably best to do just one at a time,

ANOTHER option is IF you happen to have a OpenBuilds LEAD machine, they sell multiple Z Axis assemblies and one could setup the cnc to carve like 3 smaller models at once by mounting 3 Z axises on one gantry (having a 4ft wide gantry helps with this) Multi Z Add On for the OpenBuilds LEAD 1515 CNC

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I just finished a project where I made up to ten carves (each one was different, but that doesn’t matter) from a single 48x24 plywood board, putting each carve in a separate workspace. Then I went through and carved all the rough cuts first, one by one, then changed bits and did each of the finish passes. Since I zeroed the router to the corner of the workpiece board, I didn’t have to rezero the X/Y every time.

The only thing that would make it simpler would be if you could import more than one STL into a single workspace.


HI @AnthonyBAldridge I appreciate your feedback. Your recommendations is what I do now. Depending on the project I will clamp or double-side tape the project. I do need to get better at setting up fixed points and a re-usable X,Y home.

Holy crap the multiple z axis looks like an accident waiting to happen!! I was thinking more along the lines of multiplying parts in one file. I have tried to drop in a file when Easel Pro first launch but the stl file did not load and Easel seemed to be having a hard time processing…clearly. I think I will have to go one at a time and get better at homing and having a repeatable X,Y location. Thank you for comments. Definitely gave me ideas to ponder.

Hi Keith. I think this may be the way to go. Did the rehome process between ten carves stay true, even into the detail passes? I have the 1000x10000 xcarve with bands. I don’t see much play in the rehome tolerance but there is a little. I have seen slight imperfections when moving from rough pass to detail pass on one print. Thank you for your feedback.

Side note: I want to revamp my machine with the thicker bands, beefed up servo motors and the bigger/stronger Z axis chassis. Maybe the X,Y stiffeners too

I’m using an X-Carve Pro, and did not have any variation in the home and zero positions between rough and detail - after more than 100 carves on my recent project.

There’s the precision power of the pro’s ball screw and linear drive vs rubber belts. I am not unhappy with how my machine performs, just notice the ceiling of its ability. In my case I think the 400 dollar upgrade kit for my machine is the better call them selling and upgrading to the 10k pro model. Good to know how well the pro machine does, in the hopes of upgrading one day.

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